Posts Tagged 'Grilling'

Grilled Tilapia with Cherry Salsa

The June 2008 issue of Everyday Food has several *gorgeous* recipes that incorporate Bing cherries. Bing cherries are a little pricey at Central Market right now, but I just had to try the Grilled Tilapia with Cherry Salsa recipe. It’s quick and easy enough for a weeknight but elegant enough for company… It doesn’t get much better than that!

This one isn’t posted online, so here are the ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for grill
1/2 pound (2 cups) Bing cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed), minced (I omitted this ingredient)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
4 tilapia fillets (4 – 6 ounces each)

I started off by making the salsa. In a medium bowl, I combined the cherries, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. (Include the jalapeno as well, if you decide to use it.) I seasoned the salsa with salt and pepper, tossed it to combine, and set it aside.

In a small bowl, I stirred together the coriander, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. I rubbed the tilapia fillets all over with the olive oil and then sprinkled them with the spice mixture.

I heated my grill pan over high heat, drizzled it with olive oil, and added the tilapia fillets. (My fillets were a bit big, so I could only fit 3 in the pan. I grilled the last one on its own.) Once the tilapia was opaque around the edges (2 – 3 minutes), I flipped it with a thin spatula and cooked it 2 more minutes. I topped the tilapia with the cherry salsa to serve.

Grilled Tilapia with Cherry Salsa

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. This was GOOD. It was so light and summery, and I loved the flavors of the salsa. The cilantro really balanced out the sweetness of the cherries, so this really didn’t have a “fruit on fish” taste to me. I served the tilapia with black beans and cilantro-lime rice… It was a terrific meal, for sure.

TIPS: I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I wanted to make a little note about salt. When I’m cooking, I always use coarse (kosher) salt, unless the recipe specifies otherwise. When I’m baking, I always use table salt. I think dishes tend to turn out a bit too salty if you use table salt when cooking instead of coarse salt. Morton’s Coarse Kosher Salt is readily available in most grocery stores right next to the table salt.

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with Mint-Feta Sauce

I don’t know if I’ve been *this* excited to go to the grocery store for a long time. Between the planned travel last weekend and the unplanned travel this week, my refrigerator is looking pretty sad and empty. (Apparently, Chipotle and Arby’s are acceptable substitutes for my fine home cooking when I’m away, but Dr. O does get points for buying milk and apples, hehe.) Today’s recipe – Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with Mint-Feta Sauce from the May 2008 issue of Everyday Food – is actually something I made last week but didn’t have time to write about. Marinating the meat takes a little extra time, but this is an ideal meal for a Saturday or Sunday night.

First, I prepped my ingredients. I cut 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 24 1-inch pieces, halved 1 zucchini lengthwise and then cut it crosswise into 16 1-inch pieces, and quartered half of a small red onion and separated the layers. (You should have at least 16 pieces of onion.) In a large, resealable plastic bag, I combined the chicken, zucchini, onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. I marinated the chicken and vegetables overnight in the refrigerator, but you can marinate it for 30 minutes at room temperature if you’re short on time.

Just before I was ready to put the kebabs together, I soaked 8 6-inch wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes to ensure they wouldn’t burn. When the skewers were ready, I alternately threaded them with 3 pieces of chicken, 2 pieces of zucchini, and 2 pieces of onion. (You can see in the picture I went chicken-zucchini-onion-chicken-zucchini-onion-chicken.) I grilled them in my grill pan over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the chicken was cooked through (about 12 minutes).

While the kebabs cooked, I made the mint-feta sauce. I used my Cuisinart Mini-Prep food processor to blend 1/2 cup of crumbled feta, 1/4 cup of plain low-fat yogurt, 1 cup of fresh mint leaves, and 1 tablespoon of red-wine vinegar until smooth. I served the kebabs with the dipping sauce.

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with Mint-Feta Sauce

I was so excited to get such great grill marks from my trusty old grill pan! These kebabs were really delicious, and I *love* the sauce. (Next time, though, I do think I’ll take the Everyday Food tip and make the sauce with Greek yogurt. It’s more expensive, but it’s so thick and creamy.) I can just see these as a terrific addition to a backyard summer barbecue.

TIPS: If you want to serve this recipe to more than 4 people, you could grill the first batch of kebabs and keep them warm on a baking sheet in a 200F oven. Just multiply the ingredients to cover the number of batches you want to make. If you’re lucky enough to have a huge grill (or a 2-burner grill pan), you might be able to turn them all out at the same time.

Recipe link: Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with Mint-Feta Sauce

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